Since Georgia’s accession to the Council of Europe, its main objective of co-operation activities has been to support the country in honouring its statutory obligations and specific commitments as a Council of Europe member state, in order to improve democracy, human rights and the rule of law in the country.
Status of co-operation
The Council of Europe Action Plan for Georgia 2020-2023 was adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 5 November 2019 and launched by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe in Tbilisi on 11 November 2019. The Action Plan has been prepared in close consultation with the Georgian authorities and takes into account the priorities for reforms in the country. It reflects the most recent findings of the Council of Europe’s monitoring bodies, resolutions and recommendations in respect of Georgia.
The basis of the Action Plan is the principle of shared responsibility of the Council of Europe and the 47 member states to improve implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights. Overall, this four-year Action Plan will build on the achievements of the previous one. It will strengthen democratic security in Georgia by developing and effectively implementing policies and legislation in a number of areas where the Council of Europe provides added value:
- ensuring the harmonised application of European human rights standards;
- countering hate crimes and hate speech;
- enhancing the independence, accountability and the efficiency of the judicial system as well as the professionalism of lawyers;
- supporting criminal justice and penitentiary system reforms;
- enhancing social rights protection;
- improving electoral legislation and practice;
- promoting gender equality and the respect of the rights of the child;
- combating violence against women and domestic violence;
- enhancing information security;
- developing further national capacity to counter trafficking in human beings;
- strengthening local democracy, citizens participation;
- supporting youth participation in developing a values-based youth policy;
- enhancing dialogue and confidence between divided communities through the confidence building measures.
The Council of Europe will also support implementation of the National Strategy for the Protection of Human Rights in Georgia 2014-2020.
With a total budget of €17.5 million, the Action Plan is implemented by the Council of Europe’s Directorate General of Human Rights and Rule of Law, the Directorate General of Democracy and the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe. The Council of Europe Office in Georgia co-ordinates the implementation of projects, including joint projects with the European Union.